How To handle English Vocabulary in GRE, GAT etc? Best Tips and Tricks 2020’s

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  • Post last modified:March 26, 2020


Vocabulary: Nobody can claim to have complete command over Vocabulary at all. Therefore, instead of cramming a whole lot of words, I suggest and teach learning the skill of LEXICOGRAPHY. It enables you to understand the formation and meaning of words.
There are 7-8 very simple techniques of Lexicography which I’m sharing with you all.


Lexicography focuses on the design, compilation, use, and evaluation of general dictionaries. The edition in the dictionaries takes place on the following basic principles of Word Formation.

1. Conversion: (English Vocabulary)

A linguistic process that assigns an already existing word to a new word class ( part of speech ).
This process is also known as a functional shift or zero derivation.
e.g. 1. The police hared after the thief.
2. You can bank on his talent.

2. Portmanteau word (English Vocabulary)


“Portmanteau word” is used to describe a linguistic blend, namely “a word formed by blending sounds
from two or more distinct words and combining their meanings.”
e.g. 1. brunch (breakfast + lunch)
2. motel (motor + hotel)
3. smog (smoke + fog)
4. emoticon ( emotion + Icon )

3. Derivation (English Vocabulary)

The process of creating a new word out of one or more old words, either by adding a prefix or suffix or
by compounding.
e.g. ness, ise, ize, ish, ly, al, ify, able, ance, er, en, un, in, im, railway, breakfast

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4. Onomatopoeia (English Vocabulary)

Onomatopoeia is a word that phonetically imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes.
e.g. Meow, roar, chirp, bang.

5. Root (English Vocabulary)

A word or word element (that is, a morpheme) from which other words grow, usually through the
addition of prefixes and suffixes.
e.g. Happy, prison, etc.

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6. ETYMOLOGY (English Vocabulary)

Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. By extension, the term “etymology (of a word)” means the origin of a particular word.

For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods of their history and when they entered the languages in question. Etymologists also apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available.

By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin.

If you have just a little bit of know-and-how of Etymology then you can easily guess the MOST PROBABLY right answer instead of banking on mere FLUKE. You will be surprised to know that the real English words are merely 50 % while the remaining are composed with the addition of either a prefix ( the word that is written before the original word. e.g. un, in, im, etc.) and suffix ( the word that is written after the original word. e.g. less, ale, ily, etc.)

The main thing you need to learn is the root word which gives birth to numerous words. For instance, the word “vid” generally refers to “view”. If you know this thing then you can easily understand meanings of the words you have never heard or read before. e.g. video. vision, visual. evidence. and many more such words which will give you the sense of the word.

Here again, I quote that I had never studied etymology at all but had the good common sense of comparing different words and taking out the similarities.

Nothing is easy or difficult to study. All I know is easy to me and vice versa.
It also needs one’s personal interest as well to develop the skill.
Developing the skill of etymology needs your keen observation along with little effort. Another example of etymology is as follows.

The words such as spectacle, spectrum, prospect, aspect, spectacular, inspection, inspector, etc, have something in common and that is “spec”. So one can easily develop the sense that all these words have more or less the similar meanings having a common word among them.

All have some connection, one way or the other, with the meaning ” VIEW”.

Hence, one can easily guess the meanings of various bizarre words which one comes across during composition paper.

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